MY MICHAEL RICONDA
Spring Valley – Fire personnel were called to Spring Valley High School by an automatic fire alarm at around 8:30 a.m. to address what might have been a homemade bomb or chemical weapon, but turned out to be a Valentine’s Day prank.
Police, hazmat teams and the Sheriff’s Bomb Disposal Unit met fire personnel on the scene, where they determined the school was not at any significant risk and allowed students to return to class. School Superintendent Joe Klein later confirmed that the device was a harmless homemade stink bomb, planted in a garbage can in the school’s science wing.
“There was some sort of chemical mixture in a Snapple can that [the hazmat team] are stabilizing,” Spring Valley Fire Deputy Chief Bob Johnson stated earlier at the scene. “Hazmat is here as well as the Sheriff’s Department and Spring Valley Police,”
The school was closed for most of the morning as students were evacuated and prepared to board school buses in the Orange & Rockland parking lot across Route 59. They were cleared to return at about 10:45 a.m. after police and fire personnel began to leave.
Though no injuries directly related to the stink bomb were reported, two girls fainted during the scare. It is unknown whether or not the incident had anything to do with the fumes from the bomb.
The student who planted the device allegedly did so to impress a girl for Valentine’s Day and is cooperating with the police. He has been suspended and charged with several misdemeanors, including criminal nuisance, reckless endangerment, and possession of a noxious material.